Meetings 2017

We’re now full up, and what a programme we’ve got for you:

Anarchist Federation:

Capitalism, Anarchism & Mental Health

Feelings of alienation, anxiety and depression are at epidemic proportions. How does our current capitalist society create and worsen many of these problems? How and why does it attempt to treat them, and in what ways does it fail? Anarchism relies on a philosophy of freedom, solidarity and mutual aid. Can its ideas influence how we respond to poor mental health in the present, can a radically different society be healthier for us all? Why do such a high percentage of activists struggle with their mental health, and what steps can we put in place to support each other?

Revolutionary Women

Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre, Louise Michel, and Lucy Parsons are often the names that come to mind when someone thinks of pioneering anarchist women, but there were many others just as determined, devoted and courageous. This talk will highlight a selection of revolutionary women who were forgotten by a history dominated by sexism and capitalism. Based on the pamphlet of the same name, which we be available on their stall.

An anarchist’s take on climate change and resource depletion: presented by Jimbob Jones.

An overview of the situation concerning resource depletion and climate change and the trends to expect in the near future as resources constraints and climate change make this Goliath globalised system harder and harder to maintain. I will be talking about how anarchist could start early to use some of these trends to help them build something better for the present and future.

Angry Workers of the World

Insurrection and Production: Some Angry Workers’ thoughts on a 6-month revolutionary transition in the UK and beyond

The 2010/11 struggles demonstrated the limitations of a political strategy that relied on riots and street-based insurrections. At the same time the classical idea of revolution as ‘general strike’ seems similarly outdated – often remaining trapped in the world of social media. We want to talk about the alternatives, not based on some airy fairy ideology, but an analysis of the essential industries and working class structure in the UK.

Working Class Anger in West London

Angry Workers give an update about their workers’ inquiry from the warehouses and factories in west London. We will share our experiences of proletarian existence in all its most modern, ‘hidden’, and exploitative forms. We will be talking about: work regimes; housing; gender divisions; migration; our practical efforts (solidarity meetings and newspaper), as well as how we can collaborate with people in other parts of the UK.

Bristol radical history group – ‘Ye have not done as ye ought’: The Captain Swing Uprising

The ‘Swing riots’ were a massive wave of protests, machine breaking, arson and extortion carried out by impoverished farm labourers and village artisans between the summers of 1830-31. Beginning in Kent the movement spread rapidly to engulf numerous counties in southern England. The uprising became known as the ‘Swing riots’ as the collective destruction was usually preceded by threatening letters to landowners signed by the mysterious ‘Captain Swing’. This talk considers the context and content of this largely forgotten rural rebellion, how it spread and its impact in a period of significant political unrest.

Presented by Dr Roger Ball, author of ‘Tolpuddle and Swing, The flea and the elephant.

Critisticuffs: Universal Credit: welfare that works

Universal Credit, the new mechanism through which the state will manage useful poverty, merges 6 income based benefits for “working age” people in order to make “work pay, achieve fairness and simplify the system”.

This workshop looks at: What does the design of universal credit show about the purpose of work? Why has the state to seek to ensure it is made to pay through a combination of financial support and sanctions? We look at how universal credit achieves fairness against the interests of those with and without work, and how simplification works without any reduction in rules.

Frack Off! How to support the camp.

Fracking licences have been applied for all along our Jurassic coast. A struggle must now ensue to preserve it for future generations. Here, an experienced local activist will share tips on setting up and supporting environmental camps.

Keep our N.H.S. public – Dorset

We are fighting:

  • To keep our NHS from falling into the wrong hands and falling apart.
  • To make the government accountable for it.
  • For the fairest way of sharing out the best care for everyone, publicly funded, with safe staffing levels and fair conditions for staff, available to all on the basis of need.

Our specific aims:

  • End NHS privatisation and the use of private health services.
  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and reverse all Foundation Trust (FT) plans.
  • End compulsory competition for NHS contracts – which wastes millions in public money.
  • Reject the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
  • Fund a 4% increase in NHS budgets, in real terms, yearly.
  • Stop cuts to services based on cost. Make sure these are done through clinical need, backed by evidence and subject to meaningful public consultation.
  • Stop any new private finance initiatives (PFIs) and set up independent reviews to look at reducing the existing PFI debts, which saddle the taxpayer with years of debt, and all the risk if these schemes fail.

Occupy the factory! Work, place and community in worker-run factories in Greece and beyond.

Hosted by Liam Barrington-Bush

Workplace occupations can solve workers’ problems, but can they address  a range of social and environmental problems, too?

In 2011, the Vio.Me. factory in Thessaloniki became the first European face of the occupied factory movement which came to global prominence in Argentina in 2001 and has since spread across Latin America.

Workplace occupations present an obvious alternatives to worker exploitation, with workers developing collective and cooperative means of organising their work, without bosses. Based on the practices that have emerged at Vio.Me. in Greece and in factories across Argentina, however, they may also offer a more directly democratic, sustainable and grassroots vision of how social change can happen.Connecting with other grassroots, network-led forms of organising that have taken root elsewhere in the world (e.g. – Chiapas, Rojava), come and explore what the organising models found at Vio.Me. could mean for a range of radical organising efforts closer to home.

Liam travelled to Greece in October 2016 to hear stories from workers and attend the Euromediterranean Workers Economy meeting, a unique glimpse into a breadth of worker-occupations happening across Europe.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign Southampton

There are 3 futures for Palestine / Israel.

  1. A 2-State solution
  2. A One Democratic State solution
  3. Endless war.

We will cover these, present issues and invite discussion.

We will give a brief outline of historical developments leading to today’s situation, including Balfour, Zionism and Nazism with migration to Palestine.

Riot against the cuts? Lessons from the 2010 student movement.

Hosted by Tim, editor & contributor to the

 Student Organisers’ Handbook.

The Millbank Riot, where 3000 school and university students smashed their way into conservative party headquarters, kickstarted the anti-austerity movement in the UK. At the time it felt like it was “only the beginning” but in hindsight it may have been the peak of mass militant action. Hear from someone who was there why so many angry people marched that day, why the student movement dwindled afterwards, and how anti-austerity campaigners of today could make it happen again…

Real Democracy Movement: Back Corbyn; work for real democracy.

None of the crises facing humanity are at the centre of the coming general election–climate change, poverty, hunger, the eco-system of the planet are all side-lined.  The current state has failed the people and exists to consolidate the power of the global corporations, the banks and the markets. There is a world-wide paralysis of governments in the face of these acute crises.  We’re gathering supporters to co-found a Real Democracy Movement, based on local assemblies. Let’s move beyond the capitalist mode of production towards a not-for-profit co-operative economy. A new constitution for the UK is vital, based on the principle that power should rest with the people.

Please read our new booklet Democracy unchained.

Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex with Smash IPP

Learn about how the prison industrial complex is growing in England and Wales and what you can do to resist it as part of the 2017 Smash IPP year of resistance! The workshop will share info on the new mega prisons and IPP prisoners. More than 3989 people are serving IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentences in British prisons. Five years since the sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free. IPPs are part of the exponential prison expansion that has been happening in recent years – since 1993 the prison population has doubled in the UK and sentences like IPP which has meant there has been a growing number of long term prisoners has massively contributed to this. 2017 will be a year of action to free IPP’s. Prisons are a frontline for resisting racism, sexism and working class exploitation.

Sunflower Therapies and Training: An Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple way of learning to be in the moment,to be completely present in our lives,and experiencing life to the full. Ruminating about the past, or trying to predict what will happen in the future, can be bad for our mental health. Mindfulness is also a way of showing ourselves compassion and love;forgiving ourselves for judging ourselves or others,and letting negative thoughts go. The session will involve an interactive talk about the aims and benefits of mindfulness, and will include 2 mindfulness meditations.